New-York Historical Society's Bill Shannon Dictionary of New York Sports

Ray Arcel

Ray Arcel (Boxing.  Born, Terre Haute, IN, Aug. 3, 1899; died, New York, NY, Mar. 7, 1994.)  Ray Arcel handled over 2,000 fighters and 20 of them became world champions over the course of a 70-year career as the leading trainer of the 20th century.  As staggering as his record is, Arcel was equally renowned in the boxing community for his qualities of understanding and his teaching abilities.  Arcel drifted into sports after his family moved to New York when he was four following the death of his Brooklyn-born mother.  He graduated from Stuyvesant H.S. in 1917 and went to work at Grupp’s Gym at 116th Street and Eighth Avenue.  By 1923, he was handling his first champion, flyweight Frankie Gennaro.  The next two years saw two more of his fighters attain world titles – bantamweights Abe Goldstein (1924) and Charlie Phil Rosenberg (1925).  He handled such fabled fighters as Ezzard Charles, Kid Gavilan, Roberto Duran, and Larry Holmes.  Along the way, his other champions included such great names as Barney Ross, Sixto Escobar, Jim Braddock, and Tony Zale.  Several of his fighters won more than one title, including Ross (lightweight champion in 1933 and welterweight in 1934) and Duran (lightweight in 1972 and welterweight in 1980).  He handled three heavyweight champions in three different decades – Braddock (1934), Charles (1950) and Holmes (1980).  His record may be the most astonishing in the history of the sport.

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The Bill Shannon Biographical Dictionary of New York Sports is an open database of sports biographies maintained by Jordan Sprechman and Marty Appel. We welcome public and scholarly contributions and suggestions.

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About Bill Shannon

A prolific author, wire service sports reporter, long time Major League Baseball official scorer, football statistician, sports museum founder, theatrical agency owner and public ... read more

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